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2012 11 28
Statement by Hélène Laverdière on opposition to bill C-398 to facilitate export of medication

Today, the Conservative Party refused to listen to a majority of Canadians who support Bill C-398 which seeks to save lives by facilitating the export of medications to the developing world.

 We thank the organizations that have driven the campaign for Bill C-398 over the last year, especially the Grandmothers Advocacy Network and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

 Bill C-398 is supported by over 80 international NGOs and over 250 civil society organizations in Canada, by faith leaders, and by 80% of Canadians.

 We thank colleagues on both sides of the House who voted with New Democrats to fix Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). Tonight, the Conservatives missed an opportunity to honour Canada’s 2004 promise to developing countries and to listen to the will of Canadians.

 The NDP is always ready to work in good faith. Yet in the last few weeks we witnessed a backroom campaign of misinformation coming from the Conservative leadership – misinformation that ultimately led to tonight’s result.

 By voting against this bill, the Conservatives refused to put partisanship aside for the sake of saving lives. New Democrats will continue to fight until Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime is reformed and Canada will finally be able to fulfill its promises to the developing world.

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Thomas Mulcair